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Using electronic devices with gold components.

Published: 27/08/2011 11:35:00 AM GMT
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AsSalaamu alaikum, I bought a portable personal stereo (walkman) so that I could listen to lectures while walking, traveling etc. After a while, I noticed that the plug which connects the headphones to the stereo is gold plated, since this is a better conductor. I have since that time stopped using this stereo. I was fearful that this may fall under the prohibition of men wearing gold, because it could be argued that the headphones are an item that is worn. The plug is small and not visible. Am I correct in refraining from using this equipment? What is your advice?

Answered by

the Scientific Research Committee -

It is prohibited for a man to wear gold as adornment. The Prophet (peace be upon him) took a piece of silk and a piece of gold and said: “These two are forbidden for the men of my people and lawful for the women.” [Sunan al-Nasâ’î (5147)]

However, in this case, the gold is part of a small component of an electrical appliance and has no adornment function whatsoever. Therefore, the prohibition against wearing gold jewelry is not a reason for you to stop using the headphones.

The pertinent question here is not one of wearing gold, but of whether using such an appliance is prohibited in the same way that using gold and silver dishes is prohibited.

Hudhayfah b. al-Yamân relates that Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said: “Do not drink from gold and silver vessels and do not eat from gold and silver dishes, because indeed they are for them in this world and for you in the Hereafter.” [Sahîh al-Bukhârî and Sahîh Muslim]

The majority of scholars agree that eating and drinking are mentioned only as examples of how these items are generally used and that the prohibition is general.

Al-Nawawî writes: “There is juristic consensus about the prohibition of using gold and silver vessels for eating, drinking, purification, cooking, defecating, or for any other practical purpose. This would also include using them for cosmetics or as expensive containers, or for any other reason.”

The claim that there is juristic consensus on this matter is a doubtful claim, since it is reported that some of the earlier scholars permitted the use of gold or silver appliances for other uses besides eating and drinking. However, though there may not be juristic consensus on the matter, the disagreement that exists should be disregarded as something peculiar that runs contrary to a number of authentic hadîth.

At the same time, some scholars have viewed it permissible to use an appliance containing a small amount of gold or silver when that gold or silver is warranted for some functional necessity. Ibn Taymiyah says: “It is permissible to apply antimony (to the eyes) with a gold or silver applicator, since necessity dictates its permissibility.” [al-Ikhtiyârât (6)]

The gold plating on the stereo’s plug is being employed in a fully practical capacity by fulfilling a necessary function that it performs better than other substances. It is, moreover, part of a small component of a larger electrical appliance. Therefore, the stereo and headphones will be permissible to use and will not take the same ruling as gold dishes.

And Allah knows best.

Source: Islam Today

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